Ask Ian for Jan'09 - New Year, Old Favorite

Forum devoted to Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe and the entire Sonic line by Archie Comics.

Postby bsonic10 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:50 pm

1) Which milestone issue has your favorite cover?

2) Will the RF mystery definitely be solved on the road up to or in #200?

3-4) The Iron Queen looks like an Overlander/Human, but in a letter section way back, the editor said she was a badger. So my question is what are you going to be treating the Iron Queen as? Was it just a mistake on Justin's part?

(Credit for the scans go to Penguin God.)

5) Did the Iron King survive getting blown away by the magic fan that Sonic and Monkey Kong used on him?
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Postby Adamis » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:04 pm

Hello Ian :)

- Do you know why the stories in Sonic Select are not recoloured like in Sonic Archives?

- I noticed Miles's hair colour is similar to the ones of that Tails clone in #104. Coïncidence?

- Can you give us a few hints of what to expect in Sonic Universe after #04?

- You talked about new characters. In which issues can we expect to see them?

- When can we expect to see Silver again?
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Postby Evan » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:38 pm

1. In the letters section of a recent issue it was mentioned that the Knuckles series was being collected into graphic novels. Do you know when this is going to happen?

2. In a similar vein, has the idea of publishing full-sized collections, not digests, of more recent issues been thrown around? 3. If so, and it was rejected, is there a reason? I would think that collections of more recent issues would help bring new readers into the book. Searching for back issues of this series is impossible--there are three comic shops in my general area, four bookstores etc, and ALL of them sell out within the week. Ordering the sets online is hard for a lot of readers, considering they have no access to a credit card, as evidenced by your free stuff thread. I'd love to see collections of, for example, your run on the comic. 160-164 make a nice set, as do 180-184 and the Bold New Moebius stories. Probably more, but I don't have them in front of me now.

4. You hinted at the Enerjak arc 20 issues beforehand, in your very first and second issues. Was this because the editors wanted you to lay the groundwork or you knew you'd be on the book that long?

5. With Tania's run on Sabrina ended, will we be able to possibly see more of your writing on that book after 104?
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Postby FrogLenzen » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:01 am

1~3ish) Do you have a clear idea of how many sub-bosses Eggman has and who they are? Would we recognize many of them?

4~5ish) When you're thinking of including new characters, do you think much about what type of animal they would be, or mostly what they would provide to the comic/characters? Would you consider it important to make the character be a logical new animal choice? (e.g., when Tommy was created, turtles were used commonly as an extra in both the comic and SatAm, and a turtle was one of the animal friends from the 2D Sonics, but never as a central character.)
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Postby Orion101 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:48 am

1. Nice to see you using Team Dark in the story, what do you like about the team?

2. Will the healing units ever apear in the comic?

3. How much of a threat does Eggman see G.U.N. as?

4. Who is a better pilot Tails or Antoine?

5. How did Rosie and the others at the orphanage feel about Hope leaving to go to the United Federation?
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Postby Miko » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:42 am

1-2. Why does Sonic consider Rotor, Bunnie and Antione to be close friends? How do they sort of add to Sonic's quality of life?

3. Karl Bollers Said Minas b-day is October 11th, do you think differently or is it still October 11th?

4. Whats Mina's second name?
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Postby Orion101 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:14 pm

Sorry I made a mistake question for number #5 was actually. How did Rosie and the others at the orphanage feel about Hope leaving to go to the United Federation?

I edited it but wanted to be sure in case you already recorded my questions and didn't catch my edit.
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Postby SuperSawnyc129 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:13 pm

1. What became of Fiona after she left in issue 194?

2. Any plans for Nack in the near future?

3. Do you ever see Sonic and Scourge teaming up against a greater threat?

EDIT: Changed the first question.
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Postby Guest » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:14 pm

SuperSawnyc129 wrote:1. Why did Archimedes call Julie-Su "Sheila" in issue 184?

He's answered that before. It's the colloquial term for a woman in some Commonwealth countries

Postby Tcat » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:41 pm

~ When you're writing, how do you know the limitations of what the artist is capable of fitting on a page ..mostly without cramming in alot of text and/or action?

~ Do you set up anything for the artist of how you'd like the page to be laid out or just let them go to town?

~ Have you ever found yourself coming up too short on pages when you've already put down what you wanted? (I assume being too long is no problem to do)

~ Though you work with a world that's already established, if you were to start with a completely new comic how would you go about making the reader care for your characters and your world to make them come back to it month after month?

~ What's the most important advice you could give to any writer of any web/comic?
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Postby Ian Flynn » Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:54 am

Wow, the last week of January already. Hope y'all's first month of the new year went well!

Question #1 wrote:You and Dub seem to have a good laugh with each other. Would you say you get along well with the rest of the Archie staff?

I've yet to have an interaction with someone that didn't so smoothly. They're a grand bunch of folks.

Question #2 wrote:Can you accept any fan ideas at all?


Question #3 wrote:Since you are going to be building up Shadow's world, do you plan on building it in a fashion that will make it manageable in the event of SU's cancellation?

In that event (heavens forbid!) Shadow would suffer the same fate as Knuckles: a nice, solid sub-plot that can only be touched upon. If SU does die out quickly I think we'll handle it much as we have Knuckles's world and occassionally check in on things.

Question #4 wrote:To go super, does Scourge use the negative power of the emeralds/beryl, or the positive power? Would Sonic and Scourge be able to go super off the same set of magical jewels, one using the positive power and one the negative power (a la Super Sonic vs. Perfect Chaos)?

Aaaaaaaand you've caught me. I've been purposefully dancing around it, but honestly, I'm not considering the negative/positive energies of the Chaos Emeralds. That showed once for the Perfect Chaos fight and has never been mentioned again. It's a silly notion and I don't like it.

If you want use the +/- view of their power, then Sonic would always use the positive and Scourge would always use the negative. Whether it was Chaos Emeralds or Anarchy Beryl, their transformations would be the same.

Question #5 wrote:How long are the Sonic Universe story arcs going to be?

The first year will be made up of three four-part arcs. After that we might switch it up or stay the same - we'll see!

Question #6 wrote:You think you’ll ever use Dexter from Sonic Chronicles or something Dexter like as a character or plot device in the comic?

Dexter was a joke - a jab, a farce, a facade. He got maybe two or three references in passing before Sonic put the nail in the coffin. There'd be no point to referencing "him" now. There's been enough romantic drama as-is without introducing imaginary people.

Question #7 wrote:Why didn’t Scourge know he would be weak after he powered down? I would think he had used his super form before? Or is powering down something different then when the power goes off on it’s own?

This comes real darn close to being three questions hidden together as one. Don't do this, people.

Scourge hadn't gone super before, so he had no idea he was setting himself up for the fall.

Question #8 wrote:What the heck is Mina’s dad? He doesn’t look anything like any of the mongooses.

If Blaze, Big and Hershey can be cats, and if Mighty and Arlo can be armadillos, then Arthur can be a mongoose.

Question #9 wrote:How exactly was Sonic able to compare the effects of the Anarchy Beryl to the 'seven' Chaos Emeralds when he himself had yet to collect them all to transform and just used pieces of the green emeralds in the past?

He made a deductive leap off his past experiences with Mobian Emeralds and the Master Emerald. For his sake, the "new" transformation should be the same.

Question #10 wrote:Did you get the idea of smothering Super Scourge to lose his energy, from how Super Sonic can die from getting crushed in the videogames?

HA! No, I was just thinking of delaying him and a symbolic sign of good and evil coming together against a greater threat. Yours is a fun take on it, though.

Question #11 wrote:Since I would assume that SU wouldn't be started if StH's sales were low, would you say that the main title is selling well these days?

It's been Archie's number one in the 32-page format for a while now. The only thing that beats it are the digests, and those are found in every grocery store, drug store and newsstand in existance. You can't compete with circulation like that.

Question #12 wrote:An afterlife question, if I may: we've seen a bit of a "positive" afterlife on Mobius (a "Heaven," if you want to call it that) where Knuckles returned to the Chaos Force and I'd assume where Locke and Sir Connery are. But is there a netherworld/perdition/inferno as well, where the likes of Kage and, ya know, Tommy Turtle are? (I keeed, I keeed!)

I'm not sure, nor am I sure I want to tackle it. With the Guardians, their understanding of the Chaos Force allows them to maintain their conciousness after conventional death, so one could argue that they never really "die" but perpetuate themselves in a new form. If that were the case then I'd suppose all other life returns to the Chaos Force.

That's entirely on-the-spot specualtion, though. Theology is a very touchy subject, especially in a kids' book - especially in an action-adventure kids' book - - especially when you start bringing in notions of the bad place.

Question #13 wrote:I'm curious about Shadow's current morals. We've seen him side with Eggman before, and he does now seem to have a redefined purpose, but would you still consider him as "dark" and untrustworthy as Rouge?

"Dark" in that he wouldn't be given moralistic pause the same way as Sonic would. Sonic holds back from doing the grim-n-gritty stuff because it's not right in his mind. Shadow would still do some terrible things to people to accomplish his goal. A perfect example being Sonic never going to kill Robotnik, just defeat him, while Shadow would off him without a second thought. And given Shadow is still not 100% certain about what's right and wrong about the world, that makes him a bit dangerous.

Question #14 wrote:How would you explain Knuckles and Sally's current relationship? By this I mean that are they still bitter over the KtE#29 issue and more like co-workers, or are they close friends like before?

I think they're close friends. They had their rough times, but they've endured them. They've both been misdirected and put through some hard times, and I think they mutually appreaciate that.

Question #15 wrote:Plus, you missed Q #2: Regarding the whole boost/drain thing, why not just have Sonic trick him out of Super form, then just lay into Scourge to achieve the same end?

Well it can be tough to pick out the meat of the question inside of a paragraph when you're doing seventy-plus of these a week =P

Sonic merely tricking Scourge wouldn't have done Sonic any favors. He was already worn out from fighting Rosy, the big hedgehog scuffle, and Super Scourge. The Freedom Fighters and Suppression Squad wouldn't be there for back-up - those not still recovering from Super Scourge would be too far away. So a regular powered-down Scourge could still finish Sonic off, or at least extend the fight into yet another issue. The Anarchy Beryl drain was the back-door I needed structure-wise that still made sense within the rules of Moebius.

Question #16 wrote:If the right situation popped up, would Tails repair or Rebuild the Sea Fox so that he or the other freedom fighters could help?

Sure, Tails could rebuild the Sea Fox. Only problem now is how to get it out to sea.

Question #17 wrote:I thought the zones of the multiverse were pocket dimensions branching off Zone Prime, as per Turbo Tails and Shadow's discussion during "Order from Chaos": "Not another dimension entirely." So what is the difference?

There seem to be two types of zones: else-worlds and pocket dimensions. Moebius, Blaze's world, Robo-Robotnik's old world, the No/Perpendicular Zone - they're all seperate universes in and of themselves. The Special Zone is just a bud off the Prime Zone, and conceivably Al and Cal's zone is like that too.

...but putting it that way seems rather needlessly complicated. I might have to revise that a bit. I don't think it's ever been set in stone just what defines a full-blown zone from a pocket dimension. Hmm...

Question #18 wrote:I have to wonder, it's known that Scourge and Alicia threw Anti-King Acorn into the Zone of Silence/Void way back when, but is the Zone of Silence/Void the same as the one that Buttnik Prime sent Kudos, the OFF, Max Prime, etc. or is it a different Void localized to Moebius?

Ah-HA! That's why I wanted the Special Zone to be a pocket dimension! It's because, otherwise, it means the Zone of Silence and Void were a dumping ground for every zone. Which means things can get muddled very fast. Right now I'm thinking Moebius has its own Zone of Silence, but that isn't set in stone either. I'll just have to figure it out and nail it down one of these days.

Question #19 wrote:Would you say that Anti-Max was a good guy but not that good of a father, even though Max Prime isn't the best example of Parent of the Year either, like Anti-Jules or was he evil, sadistic, and cruel like his daughter and friends?

Prime-Max would've prefered peace and more-or-less inherited the Great War, which he fought to finish. He's very pro-active and protective, sometimes to an illogical fault, as evident when he led the charge on Robotropolis in full armor. So I would assume Anti-Max was opposed to the Great Peace, but was too snivelling and complacent to stand in its way.

Prime-Max seemed to be very devoted to his family but unforunately kept away by the war and matters of state. Anti-Max, then, wouldn't have given a flip about his family but circumstances may have forced him to be ever-present - thus generating Alicia's dislike in him.

All of this conjecture, of course.

Question #20 wrote:I think it's been answered, but is the Zone of Silence and the Void, from ish 30, the same place or are they seperate from each other cuz I'm thinking I've heard from someone/where that they weren't the same thing?

That confusion was a casualty of the comic first branching away from the SatAM-canon. In the comic they were two very different zones. In an effort to simplify (and to set up the Special Zone later), Naugus reveals he combined the two dimensions during "The Darkest Storm." He says it in one line - I'd understand if it went under the radar.

So they were two, then one, and they're now the Special Zone so the whole thing's moot.

Question #21 wrote:Are the SS really friends? In other words, would they really have each others backs in really bad times, like Scourge taking over, or are they together as a convient relationship and turn on each other given the right circumstances?

Definitely more of the latter. They range from general dislike to out-right hatred on any given day, but they know that working together can get them what they want. If any of them could excel alone (or especially by back-stabbing the others) they'd leap at the chance.

Question #22 wrote:I know you have stated many a time that you have details in your mind about the supers, but since that has yet to be featured in the book, I want to know if it can be assumed that becoming super is something that some comic original (not counting Scourge or other alternate versions of game characters) could do?

I hate to keep being so vague, but I have a very clear idea on what happens when somebody tries to go "super" when they aren't one of the chosen few. Patience, patience, I'll reveal what I can when I can.

Question #23 wrote:You haven’t answered any of my Bean questions these last weeks. Aren’t you both getting along?

Twelve points for Griffinfloor - you got me! This is Bean, actually and factually. I've had Ian tied in the closet since New Year's. Poor guy had one too many sips of the bubbly (which is to say none) and one too many head-on collisions with a crowbar (which is to say I lost count)., I'm not continuing the Bean voice, tempting as it would be. I suppose I could do a character-themed month of Ask Ian. Maybe since February is so short? What do y'all think? Start a thread and hash it out if you're interested.

Question #24 wrote:Way back in 98 when Shadow was introduced, he busted up Silver Sonic 2. Was the robot repaired and put back in use?

Nopoe. He was Grade-A EggTech and far beyond G.U.N. repair. That, and Shadow was pretty thorough, it looked like.

Question #25 wrote:We know Robotnik had his sub-bosses so when Eggman stepped in, did he continue using those that still remained or did he clean house and start over?

The Eggman Empire is Robotnik's global holdings, just under a different name. There have been a few shifts, and we'll be seeing at least one new sub-boss this year.

Question #26 wrote:We seen them in Knothole as judges in #40. But do Hip and Hop live in New Mobotropolis, or have the two moved somewhere else off panel during the long events in the comic?

I figure they're still serving as judges in New Mobotropolis.

Question #27 wrote:Regarding the Sonic Universe #4 cover, do the stars and conifer branches on the flag symbolize anything?

Not that I'm aware of, no. We might establish that later.

Question #28 wrote:I've been reading through some of the Ask Ian Q/A and am wondering have you had any thoughts of updating/revising any of your failed character ideas into any possible concept in the comic one day?

Not especially, no. I've tons of ideas for the book throughout its life and they were usually either bad or the book moved on before I could go back to them - i.e. the period of time when Echidnaopolis (in mid-Dingo revolt) was zapped into the Twilight Zone by the Dark Legion. The few that had some merit I've already worked into the book somehow. I've pretty much used all my old ideas in some shape or form, so everything from here on out is brand new.

Question #29 wrote:What's your attitude toward the influx of people on the board here?

The more the merrier! I love hearing back from the readers, and the more users who sign up the more variety of responses I'll get (in theory).

Question #30 wrote: Due to the apparent increase in number every week, do you think you'll start limiting questions [eg: first come, first served]?

I don't know right now. I felt bad about imposing the Five Question Limit, but it was necessary at the time. And while I'd hate to limit it even more, I'm not sure if I can handle seventy to eighty questions a week - and that's with liberal pruning on my part. I'll have to think about it.

Question #31 wrote:Do you see yourself ever going off and writing for other, non-Archie comics? I ask because I know you're writing the Sabrina bit now, and I know that a few of the artists [like Spaz] have gone off to do more mainstream comics.

I'd love to do other comics, and I will eventually get my own stuff out under BKC. It's considerably harder to get a book up and running when you don't have a dedicated team, publisher, and company bankrolling your endevours. You'd be surprised how many people aren't enchanted by the line "I can pay you if this sells!"

Question #32 wrote:Who do you think would win in a fight- Archie Sonic, or SEGA Sonic?

I think it'd be a pretty even match-up, honestly. If you gave SegaSonic his full roster of moves throughout all the games and likewise pulled out every trick ArchieSonic is used, I'd say they'd reach a stalemate.

Question #33 wrote:You said in the script bits for #171 [I Am] that having Black Arms invade would be a "very brutal fight for survival that wouldn’t really fit in the theme of the book." Now I'm not knocking that decision- I definitely prefer the way you did it and agree that it was best to avoid being "tied up for months" in a plot that doesn't really have to take more than an issue. But wouldn't you say that fighting for their survival with minimal costs [but ultimately any cost nonetheless] is exactly the theme of the book? The entire book has been about kids struggling with Robotnik's invasion and doing their best to stay free in that awful oppression [in my eyes].

A fair question. I think what it boils down to is a double-standard in terms of immediate thematic relations. Yes, they're fighting for their lives against Robotnik, but it's (primarily) against robots. They're not fighting Robotnik, they're fighting Robonik in his latest mech. SWAT Bots, badniks, Egg Pawns - all of them non-living machines. Even the Dark Egg Legion fits in by being a largely facelss, dark pressence. The new/unattentive reader probably doesn't even realize they're echidnas under those hoods.

The Black Arms, conversly, are alive. You can't just smash them into nuts and bolts. Even prefacing it as "they're mindless - no, really!" wouldn't fly and you'd get tired of reading it every time one was killed. And they would have to be killed - that is their fate. I'd rethink it if they returned in the games, but honestly now, who thinks that's going to happen? "Shadow the Hedgehog" was panned and SEGA is notorious for not reusing elements, so I think it's a safe bet Shadow got away with xenocide. But I'm getting off on the wrong tangent.

The Black Arms' ultimate goal is to feast upon the living and to purge Mobius of its "lesser" lifeforms. Slavery in the form of mindless robotization is terrible - no argument there - but it's something you can fight against and it provides an 'out' - i.e. derobotization. Death by being eaten alive crosses the line. The only reason I got away with the mass execution of echidnas, I think, was because their demise was so convoluted. Being eaten is pretty clear cut.

Question #34 wrote:If Sonic and Scourge can use the Master Emerald to go super, as seen in Chaos Angel, why would they need to gather the Chaos Emeralds from Feist?

This is assuming you can go "super" off the Master Emerald more than once. We've seen Knuckles and Sonic do it once and Scourge about half-way, but nobody has done it twice. We'll just have to see how reliable that is, eh?

Question #35 wrote:Ignoring the Master Emerald, are seven Chaos Emeralds (and 50 power rings?) still required for individuals like Sonic, Knuckles and Tails to go into their super forms, or is only one required since the numers emeralds of each colour have been merged to form only seven?

We've pretty much dropped the fifty rings requirement. The Chaos Emeralds, however, are no more powerful than they were before. They each had infinite power before, and infinity + infinity = infinity. There's nothing to be gained when you already have everything.

Yes, there was a big deal made out of Dimiti-Enerjak having the power of eleven Chaos Emeralds, and Master Mogul having that power later. The number starts to lose its meaning after seven and it become more of a matter of mastery over such power. Mogul is far better versed in the use of Chaos Energies than the Triple Threat, for instance.

Question #36 wrote:Do you have any plans at all to explore the Anti-Brotherhood in the future?

No large, pressing plans, no. I do have a general idea for them, though.

Question #37 wrote:Do you have any plans to explore some of the events that took place on Angel Island during Sonic's absence in space or during the Dark Legion civil war in Sonic Universe?

No, and sadly, I don't think we'll ever get back to those. The time to address any and all events during "Tossed in Space" was immediately after Sonic's return, not (roughly) five years after the fact. If I can find a good way to work it into a present-time story, I would like to. But with Angel Island and the Legion's status quo set as they are now I think it's more important that we move forward than fill in every little gap left behind.

Question #38 wrote:Beehive Colony, Echidnaopolis, Fire Ants, Chameleons, Dingoes. Why are the Acorn Kingdom and Mercia the only ones to feature multiple species?

Think of it as a lot of the old world countries: Germany is primarily germanic; Spain is primarily spanish, certain ethic groups are localized in different countries throughout Africa (I don't like calling them "tribes" - it sound degrading). Folks tend to group with those like them, and animals usually stick to their own kind. Mash the two together via a Gene Bomb and you get species-centric mobian nations.

I'd need to look back on the story, but I think they made a point in saying King Alexander Acorn organized Old Mobotropolis to be a conglomeration of different species because they were so far apart. Perhaps Mercia was inspired by King Alexander? Tis something to think about.

Question #40 wrote:I'm guessing there's a Perpendicular Zone Eggman. Is he a menace, or an officer?

Completely and wholly unapproved and unofficially? He's the most hated sergeant within the Zone Cop Corps who keeps egging on his fellow brass to just wipe out the multiverse and get it over with. I only put that out there since I don't think we'll ever get around to much with the Zone Cops (STH#197 notwithstanding).

Question #41 wrote:Will there be any SU exclusive characters not likely to ever be seen in the main series

Not intentionally, no. Some character maybe only show up when we focus on a specific character, but they're free to be in both books.

Question #42 wrote:Where's that Finitevious guy been? Last I saw him, was when Locke died, or am I confusing things?

Yep, he made his exit right at the end of "Enerjak: Reborn." He's been plotting and scheming somewhere. We'll see him again this year.

Question #43 wrote:Is RF the only new villain your introducing in the near future, or can we expect more additions to the rogues gallery?

I'd say there's two new villains added to the mix this year.

Question #44 wrote: Will Team Dark be appearing only in SU, or will they grace the main comic as well?

Tying in with a previous answer, Team Dark is free to show up in STH. I wouldn't expect them to all that much, though, since they'd have more room to move around in with SU.

Question #45 wrote:You've mentioned Darkest Storm as being your weakest arc since you arrived on the comic. What would you do differently to it if you had the chance?

I don't think so, no. It was extremely dense and some of the nuances got lost in the mad swirl of events, but it got the job done. It set things up for a great deal that came after. No regrets.

Question #46 wrote:Was it important to bring Snively back into the mix when you started writing the comic?

It was to me. The Robotnik/Snively dynamic is so good that I'd need a really good reason to shake it up.

Question #47 wrote:What percentage of the stories in Sonic Universe will be about Shadow or Knuckles? Will they be in most of the stories or only a few?

One third each. Shadow gets the first arc of the year and Knuckles gets the last. The middle one is more of an ensemble cast; nobody is really the sole focus.

Question #48 wrote:how big of a social stigma is there amongst the mobians about hair loss?

Hair or fur? As in I would see Sally's chestnut waves and Bernie's swooping lock hair, but the rest of it fur. Either way I could see hair loss being not a big deal, but fur loss seen as an unsightly but sympathetic problem.

Question #49 wrote:Are their any story arcs or details you had planned and set up, only to change right before the arc, like the change from Remington to knuckles

The entire direction for post-#200 was retooled. It lost a number of characters and story options from that, but we gained more characters (far more interesting ones) and a much tighter direction to the story, so it's really for the better.

There were a few stories that #165's "Leak" ultimate took the place of. Most of the "lost" elements have already been used since then, and others I'm just tossing because they won't work now or I have better ideas about them.

That's the thing about writing for a serial narrative - stuff gets added and dropped behind the scenes all the time - almost always for the better.

Question #50 wrote:Not sure if this has been asked before but how did you come up with the awesomeness known as El Gran Gordo?

I'm not sure how many beans I can spill, but suffice it to say that a special guest writer was going do to that story. He had to back out for whatever reason (nebulous legalaties, I think, and he saved us the hassle). Mike thought it had too much potential to just drop, so he ran the idea by me. I loved it and seized upon it. The rest is history.

Question #51 wrote:How much advance notice did you get concerning Sonic X's cancellation?

About a year, which is also when I found out about Sonic Universe getting approved. Ironically enough the week after I was notified somebody started up a topic of "Should Sonic X be cancled?" I had to bite my lip on that one - hard.

Question #52 wrote:Were there any subplots/ideas that you didn't get a chance to flesh out as a result?

Just a couple. We were going to try to inject some intrigue into the S.O.N.I.C.X. group and the identity of the Organizer. I don't know how far we would've gotten with it, though, since S.O.N.I.C.X. wasn't all that popular.

I also had one last chapter in the Gran Gordo Trilogy. That one I'm the most disappointed about, but them's the breaks. If there's ever an occasion I can publically release those notes, I will. For now you'll just have to wonder what might have been.

Question #53 wrote:Were you given the go-ahead for Sonic Universe with the stipulation that Sonic X cease production, or was it a coincidence that one ended as the other began?

It wasn't a stipulation so much as an evolution. The company has been wary about the financial risk of a second book ever since KTE and the Super Specials tanked - and I don't blame 'em. It costs a lot to get a book out and it's even harder to fight for shelf space. SONIC X had the benefit of the anime to back it and being stand alone from STH. It was different enough to not be considered "the second Sonic book." You follow? Trust me, it makes a certain kind of sense.

Anyway, SONIC X was doing fine but we knew it wasn't going to last forever. The anime was in its...second run or reruns, I think? And the restrictions upon it were really starting to chaffe. STH was doing well enough, though, that the thinking was it could support a sister book. So instead of having three SONICs fight for the shelf space we gentle retire the one and use its momentum to launch the new title.

Question #54 wrote:Do you have any plans to bring up Master Mogul?

Mogul seems quite content to reign over Casino Night and take pop-shots at Sonic. I think it'll be awhile before he makes another big grab for power.

Question #55 wrote:What was your favorite story arc to write?

Just off the top of my head, I'd say "Order from Chaos." It took a lot of my early set-up and a whole bunch of old plot points and they all came together really nicely. That one just felt good coming together.

Question #56 wrote:What conditions would apply to make you resurrect Ultra Sonic and Hyper Tails?

Those transformation came taking in a ridiculous number of rings. The story didn't even truly specify - just that it was lots. So to see them again we'd need a monster cache of rings again. I'm in no rush to provide that.

Question #57 wrote:I know that the game adaptations are beyond your control, but if you had the ability to adapt game as you saw fit, how would you adapt Sonic chronicles and/or Sonic Unleashed

Just because we can't intergrate the material now doesn't mean we can't do it later. I have my ideas on how to make Chronicles mesh and give a polite, distant nod to Unleashed. They just may not see the light of day for a few years.

Question #58 wrote:Whatever happened to Muttski? Do you deliberately omit him knowing Sonic has that universal translator in his brain, or is it just that you have no plot-related reason to include him?

The latter. It's hard enough to find time to work his family in, but the family dog is even tougher.

Question #59 wrote:how come we dont see Rosey anymore? im talking about that old lady.

Pretty much the same as the last one. She showed up for #174, and she'll at least be mentioned this year. But she's tending to the next generation. She raised this one right and so it's time she turned her talents elsewhere.

Question #60 wrote:Will Bean and Bark be appearing in either SU or StH in the foreseeable future?

No plans for them this year, sadly.

Question #61 wrote:Will the RF mystery definitely be solved on the road up to or in #200?


Question #62 wrote:Who decided that Sonic X would end? Sega's request or a general consensus at Archie?

I believe it was a joint agreement between everyone above me.

Question #63 wrote:Can you give us a few hints of what to expect in Sonic Universe after #04?

At this point I'm afraid of spoiling too much. I've already said that Knuckles will be getting some screen time and we'll see the debut of a new character (or more) this year. There's one story arc I can't even hint at - y'all will figure it out way too fast. wanting some more Finitevus goodness?

Question #64 wrote:When can we expect to see Silver again?

In the near future. Or maybe not-so-near future. Sorta near. You'll see.

Question #65 wrote:In the letters section of a recent issue it was mentioned that the Knuckles series was being collected into graphic novels. Do you know when this is going to happen?

I don't have a time-table on that, no. The Sonic Select series will be featuring the Specials, minis and KTE, so it might be a while.

Question #66 wrote:With Tania's run on Sabrina ended, will we be able to possibly see more of your writing on that book after 104?

I honestly don't know what's going to happen after #104. I'd rather Tania continue her stories, but I wouldn't be opposed to doing more Young Salem. Or, heck, even Sabrina itself. We'll see what pans out.

Question #67 wrote:The Iron Queen kind looks like an Overlander/Human, but in a letter section way back, the editor said she was a badger. So my question is what exactly is the Iron Queen or what are you going to be treating treating her as? Was it just a mistake on Justin's part?

An editorial snafu on the esteemed Mr. Gabrie's part. If we ever get around to Iron Queen again she'll be an Overlander.

Question #68 wrote:Do you have a clear idea of how many sub-bosses Eggman has and who they are? Would we recognize many of them?

I haven't committed to a full list, no. So far on my run I've not needed to consider it. I do have a few ideas as to who runs what, where, and a few of them would be familiar faces.

Question #69 wrote:When you're thinking of including new characters, do you think much about what type of animal they would be, or mostly what they would provide to the comic/characters? Would you consider it important to make the character be a logical new animal choice?

First and foremost the character has to serve a purpose. What do they bring that's new to the mix? If they're directly associated with a character, how are they a foil? How do they reveal something about the original or what do they bring that makes the new duo interesting? From there I look at the species - what haven't we seen before? What would be interesting, but recongnizable? Adding a tiger immediately implies power. Adding a muntjak would just confuse folks (sorely tempted as I may be).

There is the occassion where the character(s) or lore that has come before already dictate the species. In that case it's just conceptualizing the character - the species has already been figured otu for me.

Question #70 wrote:How much of a threat does Eggman see G.U.N. as?

Given his superiority complex, I don't think the good doctor takes G.U.N. very seriously. It may be because G.U.N. has been purely defensive all theses years; fighting conservatively due to the overwhelming numbers of the Eggman Empire. If their strategy were to shift, though, he might drag his attention away from Sonic for a minute.

Question #71 wrote:How did Rosie and the others at the orphanage feel about Hope leaving to go to the United Federation?

Sad to see her go, of course, and worried for a little girl going out on her own. But she's capable. Now - whether they know about her (possibly fatal) run-in with Snively is a different story altogether.

Question #72 wrote:Why does Sonic consider Rotor, Bunnie and Antione to be close friends? How do they sort of add to Sonic's quality of life?

They grew up together. They've fought through the First Robotnik War together. They've rebuilt cities, tackled life-threatening scenarios, and seen each other at their best and worst. They're close friends because that's how they grew together to survive. Or, if you prefer a less bleak, children-of-war scenario, it's because they enjoy each other's company. They have traits - physical and personal - that are entertaining or endearing or desired by the others.

Anything of a deeper analytical approach to that question requires a whole diseration, and this isn't the place for that kind of thing.

Question #72 wrote:Karl Bollers Said Minas b-day is October 11th, do you think differently or is it still October 11th?

I'm not terribly keen on having months and days the same as they were thousands of years after the world was destroyed, but it's a useful way out in a kids' book. Honestly now - when I'm racing to tell every story I can, at what point can I stop and explain Ishindale 34th is the equivalent to October 11th? Answer: I can't, so I won't.

tl;dr - sure, her birthday can be on Oct. 11th.

Question #73 wrote:Whats Mina's second name?

I wasn't aware she had one. Like a middle name? (i.e. Dr. Horatio Quentin Quack) Or do you mean a surname? (i.e. Sally Alicia Acorn)

I don't think there's been mention of a middle name for her, although that could be a detail I've missed. As for a surname, she's like Sonic or Rotor or Rouge - the species name is the surname.

Question #74 wrote:Why did Archimedes call Julie-Su "Sheila" in issue 184?

It's been awhile since he popped up: Archimedes has an Australian accent. Having him use "sheila" was an attempt to get that across. Perhaps I should've had him say "g'day" at some point instead?

Question #75 wrote:When you're writing, how do you know the limitations of what the artist is capable of fitting on a page ..mostly without cramming in alot of text and/or action?

It's come from the past few years of seeing what's produced. I always write the scripts with the understanding that the artist can add, omit or tweak what they want to capture the moment or seize upon a moment of inspiration. I can visualize the panel placement on the page and the panels themselves. It's not an exact science, and I still have to watch myself - I sometimes get a little . . . over-zealous in my vision. But I'm spoiled rotten with Tracy. Pretty much anything I ask for he does and then some.

Question #76 wrote:Do you set up anything for the artist of how you'd like the page to be laid out or just let them go to town?

I'll do layouts by request, or if I think I'm asking for something particulary dense (i.e. the big fight scene in "The Darkest Storm"), but as I said before - I'm spoiled on Tracy. That, and while the script provides some clear direction, I leave it to the artists - the ones with the real visual talent - to work their magic.

Question #77 wrote:Have you ever found yourself coming up too short on pages when you've already put down what you wanted? (I assume being too long is no problem to do)

Nope. We always do page-by-page breakdowns before hand to make sure the pacing of the issue works, so I have a road map to follow when I'm putting the script together. And on the odd occasion where I am missing a page I can look back and realize that no, silly, it goes seven-eight-nine not seven-nine-ten.

Question #78 wrote:Though you work with a world that's already established, if you were to start with a completely new comic how would you go about making the reader care for your characters and your world to make them come back to it month after month?

Any story in any medium will be enjoyable if the reader can connect with a character on some level. If they're entertaining, sympathetic, or just plain cool the reader will usually give the benefit of the doubt at first. It's keeping them that's the trick. I'm hoping to do that with BumbleKing Comics . . . eventually.

Question #79 wrote:What's the most important advice you could give to any writer of any web/comic?

Two quick pieces of advice:

1) Forget your medium. You are not writing a comic book, web comic, novella, screenplay - none of that. Those are labels that are going to distract you from what you're writing, which is a story. If you're not telling a solid story then it doesn't matter what format it's in. Whether it's to entertain, educate or preach, you're telling a story you want others to read and take something away from - whether it's laughter, knowledge, or an opinion.

2) Don't forget your medium. A comic book is going to be able to tell your story in a different way than a web comic can, or straight prose, or a script. Study the books you enjoy and see what you enjoy about them and why. How do the writer and artist work in tandem to present the story? Are the successful? If not, what could be changed that would work better?

With you thoroughly confused, my job is done.
Ian Flynn
Posts: 5837
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:11 pm


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